Dr. Seunghyun Ryu

Dr. Seunghyun Ryu is currently a Research Assistant Professor in The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). She earned a BS degree in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Ajou University in South Korea, a MA degree in Biochemistry at Korea University and Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in South Korea, and a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech University with Prof. M Nazmul Karim. After her PhD, she worked as a postdoctoral scholar with Prof. Nils Kröger at Georgia Institute of Technology and later joined Trinh lab at UTK as a postdoctoral researcher and then a research scientist. Before returning to UTK as a Research Assistant Professor, Dr. Ryu worked as a research scientist at CJ America. Currently she is a visiting scholar in Prof. Arkin’s laboratory at The University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests are in the areas of protein engineering, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology. Dr. Ryu has research expertise in protein and strain engineering, and has experience working with bacteria, yeast, diatom, and mammalian cell lines including non-model organisms. In addition to performing research, Dr. Ryu also serves as a project manager in Trinh lab for DOE and industry-funded projects.

Professor Cong Trinh

Professor Trinh is currently a Ferguson Faculty Fellow in The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Tennessee Knoxville. He earned his PhD in chemical engineering from The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities under guidance of Prof. Friedrich Srienc. He then worked as a postdoctoral scholar with Profs. Douglas Clark and Harvey Blanch at The University of California, Berkeley. In Spring 2023, Prof. Trinh is a visiting scholar in Prof. Arkin’s laboratory at The University of California, Berkeley. Trinh’s research interests are in areas of systems and synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, biochemical engineering, microbial and viral physiology. His research aims to fundamentally understand complex cellular systems and develop novel experimental and computational tools to control these systems for biotechnological applications with 3 research thrusts. Thrust 1 is to develop a transformative technology, MODCELL (Modular Cell), to engineer modular (chassis) cells for rapid development of novel microbial biocatalysts for industrial biocatalysis. Thrust 2 is to develop a transformative ViPaRe (Virulent Pathogen Resistance) technology to effectively combat rapidly evolving and resistant pathogens. Thrust 3 is to understand mechanisms of cellular robustness against environmental and genetic perturbations and develop effective defensive tools to boost cellular robustness for applications from disease prevention to novel biocatalysis. Trinh serves as a PI of several single and collaborative funded projects including the NSF CAREER award for development of the MODCELL technology and the DARPA’s FYA and Director Fellowship for development of the ViPaRe technology. He is an active member of AIChE, SBE, ACS, SIMB, and IMES.
Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1GZXQDEAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Skyler Chan

Skyler Chan is studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley, and he has wanted to become an astronaut since he was 3. In high school, he learned how to fly gliders, and was involved in various student-led space organizations. One of his goals is to make humanity an interplanetary species within our lifetime, and he joined CUBES to advance this mission. Currently, he builds in the Systems Design and Integration Division of CUBES. He is interested in exploring sustainable design on Mars, such as, how to build the first self-sufficient Martian cities. To Skyler, the idea that the choices we make designing the first Martian habitats today will have an impact on the future of humanity never gets old. In his free time, he can be found flying drones, PR-ing at the gym, and filming videos with friends.

Snigdha Jagarlapudi

Snigdha is a freshman at UC Berkeley studying Genetics and Plant Biology. She is working with Dr.Sander on the CUBES project because of their work with the growth coupling of polyhydroxyalkanoate production in species of Cupriavidus for applications in space exploration. She is interested in studying the genetic engineering of metabolic pathways in bacteria and algae, especially in the broader context of sustainability.
Gwyneth Hutchinson, researcher, female, wearing glasses with long fair hair

Gwyneth Hutchinson

Gwyneth graduated from UC Berkeley in 2020 where she did nearly 3 years of research and a fellowship in reproductive neuroendocrinology, chronobiology, and cellular biology. She then transitioned to the UCSF-Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease where she pursued novel research into the contributions of cellular energy metabolism and bioenergetic failure to neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. Following this, she worked as a Senior Research Associate at Conception Biosciences where she focused on the development of biotechnologies to turn stem cells into viable eggs for individuals and couples to overcome physiological, age-based, and sexuality-based barriers to reproductive success. With NASA CUBES and the Arkin Lab, Gwyneth is developing innovative approaches to build on the Arkin Lab’s recent successes engineering Spirulina for nutrient, pharmaceutical, and flavor production with applications for supporting human exploration of space. She is devising innovative ways to further improve the efficiency of engineering this previously recalcitrant organism and determining the best routes for metabolic engineering of these critical products. She is also interested in pursuing questions surrounding human physiology and reproduction in space with the goal of improving health outcomes for astronauts and space travelers both during missions and upon return to Earth. When she’s not in the lab, Gwyneth loves to spend time with her puppies—Willow and Pandora—and enjoys playing guitar and reading novels. She also fancies herself an amateur shark diver and is on the Board of Directors for a literacy nonprofit.

Katie Sie

Katie is an undergraduate studying Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. She is mentored by Cameron Hearne and Dr. Mutalik. Her focuses will be to use phage isolation techniques to optimize the engineering of phage-like molecules.

2021 Cameron Hearne photo

Cameron Hearne

Cameron is a graduate student in Plant & Microbial Biology Dept and jointly advised by Drs. Mutalik and Arkin

2021 Bradley Biggs photo

Bradley Biggs

Bradley completed his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California, where he worked on silicon-based optical biosensors. As his research interests evolved, he pursued an M.S. in Biotechnology at Northwestern University, and subsequently worked for a time at a metabolic engineering startup based in Cambridge, MA called Manus Bio. He later returned to Northwestern University to pursue his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering working with advisor Keith Tyo in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, with his thesis work focusing on engineering the soil bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi for applications in lignin upgrading. In the Arkin Lab, Bradley’s work focuses on integrating synthetic biology and systems biology approaches to the ENIGMA project, continuing to explore soil bacterium and their relevance to engineering applications and the environment.

2021 Allison Hung

Allison Hung

Allison is an NSF fellow and graduate student in Molecular & Cell Biology. She obtained her BA in biology at Columbia University in 2020 while doing research on host-pathogen interactions and cell signaling in the Dietrich and Haeusler labs. As a student in the Arkin Lab, Allison is investigating bacterial colonization mechanisms in the context of the mammalian host gut. In her free time, Allison enjoys doing crosswords and practicing her German.

2021 Divya Sivanandan Photo

Divya Sivanandan

Divya is an undergraduate in the Bioengineering Dept. Divya is working with Dr. Hilzinger to screen Spirulina mutants as they are generated (gDNA preps, PCR, possible Illumina sequencing preps), and help develop better transformation methods for this organism.